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Need to Know: Five pivotal moments for the 2013 Redskins

Need to Know: Five pivotal moments for the 2013 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 12, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here are five pivotal moments from the Redskins’ first nine games:

1. Alfred Morris fumbled on his first carry in the opener against the Eagles and Philly recovered. In all of 2012 he fumbled just four times and lost two. This play instantly gave the feeling that things would be different in 2012 and not in a good way.

2. In the same game, Robert Griffin III threw a pass into a crowd of three defenders and it was picked off. Griffin threw five interceptions in 2012 but none of them had everyone saying, what the heck was he thinking? It compounded the different-not-better feeling everyone got from the Morris fumble.

3. With the Redskins trailing the Lions 20-17 in the fourth quarter, Griffin hit Aldrick Robinson with a perfect bomb to the end zone that was at first called a 57-yard touchdown pass. But replay revealed that Robinson didn’t maintain control of the ball when he went to the ground. Instead of having the lead, the Redskins remained behind and couldn’t rally again.

4. Midway through the fourth quarter against the Raiders, the Redskins were clinging to a 17-14 lead against the Raiders and Oakland had the ball near midfield. Ryan Kerrigan sacked Matt Flynn and stripped the ball away. Barry Cofield recovered the fumble and two plays later the Redskins had stretched their lead to 10 to put away their first win of the year.

5. The Chargers trailed the Redskins by three in the last minute but they had a first and goal at the one. With a little help from some curious play calling, the Chargers got no further and had to settle for game-tying field goal. The Redskins took the overtime kickoff and drove to the winning touchdown.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins have outgained their opponents by almost 200 yards, 3,694 to 3,497. However, they have been outscored by 57 points, 287-230.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 5; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 15; Giants @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: No availability, day off

In case you missed it

What’s the difference between this year’s 3-6 situation and last year’s?

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Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

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Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual contenders to go deep into the playoffs. The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart. Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.